Because of gas prices and my old ass needs to be replaced car, my family and I have been doing a lot more walking and taking more public transportation. My kids, eight and ten, wear hoodies like its their damned underwear. They both have at least three of them. In fact, I'm usually screetching at them because they never seem to make it into the washer and I can't stand how gross hoodies get at the sleeve.
We walk to the corner store, to the library, to pinky's dance class, or even just downtown to do some window shopping. They both wear their hoodies. Hell, I wear a hoodie, H wears one too. Pete likes to wear the hood pulled up because he says it's warm and comfy in there. I always tell him not to wear it up unless it's raining.
As all you moms can attest, there's nothing more annoying that repeating yourself so I got irritated last time I had to tell him yet again to pull down the damned hood because it's not raining. He looked at me like I'd lost my ever loving mind but he did what I asked. Meanwhile, because he looked so confused I thought, well maybe I'm just being stupid. Who cares if he wears his hood up?
People like George Zimmerman care. Simply because of the color of his skin, people in this world will look at my son and assume he's not just up to no good but that he's a danger to the community, so dangerous one needs a gun for protection, so dangerous that he could not wait for the police to respond to his call. A danger to the community for what? For being in a nice neighborhood while wearing the same article of clothing every other kid wears???
Just a few months ago for Christmas, I sewed my kid a hoodie. I bought the fabric on Black Friday from Joann's, cartoon aliens on black fleece. I was careful with all the seams, spent days trying to decide what size to cut since my kid is skinny but tall. It might have thrown it across the room once or twice when the zipper refused to go in nicely. When he put it on Christmas morning, he looked pleased as punch. In fact, he looked a lot like Trayvon Martin did in the picture that's being shown with the accompanying news articles.
According to Geraldo Rivera, an article of clothing that I labored over for my son is justification for chasing him down on a public street, standing over him, and shooting him despite his screams for help.
I always knew I'd have to explain to my kid that this world doesn't treat black men well. I just didn't realize I'd have to teach him that black little boys are just as feared.